So, after listening to Leonard Cohen's versions this week, I'm convinced the right way to look at them is as two different songs. (Sort of like "Wondring Aloud" and "Wondring Again".) The first one is utterly brilliant, the second a clever response to the first. (I mean, the first line of the second is "Baby I've been here before." Yeah, he was.)
And then Cale comes along, combines the two in a way that doesn't make much sense and actually takes meaning away from them, leaves off the only verse that's in each -- the best verse, at that -- and everyone starts covering his version. Blah.